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Bronx, NY, Nov 1, 2003— 2003 marks the ninth year of the Yeshiva Fatherhood Project, a qualitative sầu study of the subject experiences of fathers from several subcultures in the U. S. To date, we have sầu interviewed more than 400 fathers in focus groups. We have sầu also developed a standardized procedure for designing a qualitative retìm kiếm study, coding & analyzing the data. This summer, we published a book outlining our method (Auerbach và Silverstein, 2003). Because qualitative sầu research lends itself particularly well khổng lồ clinical and applied retìm kiếm, we thought our alumni might be interested in learning more about it.
Qualitative research is hypothesis-generating rather than hypothesis-testing retìm kiếm. As a result, qualitative sầu studies are conducted and evaluated differently than quantitative ones. Inhypothesis-testingresearch, the hypotheses are stated in terms of the relations between independent & dependent variables. The research goal is khổng lồ operationalize the variables in order to kiểm tra whether the hypothesized relations exist. Inhypothesis-generatingretìm kiếm, the goal is khổng lồ discover the appropriate variables (called theoretical constructs), & the abstract pattern describing the relations between these constructs. Thus the goal of qualitative sầu retìm kiếm is khổng lồ formulate theory.
Qualitative sầu research is the method of choice when investigating an area about which not enough is known khổng lồ formulate meaningful hypotheses. When we began the Yeshiva Fatherhood Project in 1994, there was very little empirical research on the subjective sầu experiences of fathers. Much of the retìm kiếm that did exist was matricentric, comparing fathering khổng lồ maternal behaviors. Within this context, we did not know enough about fathering khổng lồ formulate meaningful hypotheses. This was particularly true about African American fathers, Latino fathers, and gay fathers.
Because one does not know enough to formulate meaningful hypotheses, the participants are used as a source of knowledge. The researcher asks generalized questions, và develops hypotheses based on the answers khổng lồ their questions. Thus the hypotheses are developedafter the data is collected.
In hypothesis-testing research, the goal is khổng lồ use random sampling from as large và as diverse a population as possible, in order to lớn assure that the retìm kiếm sample is representative sầu and therefore that the findings will be generalizable. From this perspective, a small, self-selected sample, such as many of the groups of fathers we interviewed, would not be representative, and therefore no useful conclusions can be drawn from it.
However, representativeness is not the appropriate criterion for evaluating a qualitative sầu study. The ayên of qualitative research is to lớn developtransferabletheories, rather thangeneralizablehypotheses. This means that the abstract patterns described by a study’s theoretical constructs will be applicable to lớn other retìm kiếm samples, even though the specific content of the pattern may not be.
Moreover, random sampling is theoretically impossible in studies of culturally diverse and/or marginalized groups. Members of these subcultures are not as likely to lớn be selected by a random sampling process as are members of majority or mainstream groups. Rather, a subculture reflects an elaborate social network that researchers cannot enter at random. They must begin by contacting respected members of the culture, gain their trust, và build contacts from there. This is particularly true of groups like the gay fathers or divorced fathers, many of whom prefer to lớn remain invisible. The reality of having to lớn giảm giá khuyến mãi with the complications of outsider/insider status effectively rules out random sampling.
There are many qualitative sầu alternatives to random sampling. The one that we used was a combination of convenience and snowball sampling. Convenience sampling means recruiting individuals that are accessible, for example members of parenting tư vấn groups. Snowball sampling means starting with a convenience sample of a few retìm kiếm participants & asking them to lớn suggest others. These, in turn, are asked to suggest more participants. In this manner, the retìm kiếm sample grows from the first few researchparticipants, the way a snowball enlarges while rolling down a hill.
In hypothesis-testing retìm kiếm, the form size of your sample is determined in advance by using statistical power analysis. In hypothesis-generating retìm kiếm, in contrast, the kích thước of your sample cannot be determined in advance. It is determined instead by a procedure calledtheoretical saturation. After the first study, each new retìm kiếm sample is used to lớn refine your theoretical constructs, provide new information and new insights inkhổng lồ your theory. After several studies with new samples, additional retìm kiếm samples no longer add khổng lồ your understanding, but simply confirm what you already know. This point, when additional samples are not providing any new information, is defined as theoretical saturation.
Thus, both the quantitative sầu và qualitative paradigms acknowledge that more research is needed before the results of any single study can be considered accurate. However, a quantitative sầu approach would conclude that, if the sample is small and self-selected, the participants are not a representative sầu sample of fathers, & therefore, no useful knowledge can be drawn from this sample. The qualitative paradigm, in contrast, values the knowledge that emerges from even very small, self-selected samples because hypotheses can be generated from these studies.
Our qualitative sầu approach has resulted in many journal articles, several book chapters, numerous presentations, including three Continuing Education Workshops at American Psychological Conventions, and most recently our “How-to” book. We have sầu more articles forthcoming, and plan lớn vị another workcửa hàng at APA in Hawaii this summer. If you would like to learn more about qualitative sầu retìm kiếm contact us at LBSilverst